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"Foraging On The Farm" To Explore Native Plants And Homemade Remedies

Olivia Rutigliano

Sylvester Manor in Shelter Island will host a workshop on wild weeds, Foraging on the Farm, on Saturday June 16.

During the event herbalist Dawn Petter will explore the native plants that grow wild in the area on a 30 to 45 minute walk around the farm. During the walk, she will discuss the benefits of backyard weeds and learn how to identify and use what is found for homemade remedies.

"My experience of the farm tours I have done, at places like Amber Waves Farm and Brooklyn Grange is, that participants are so thrilled to learn this ancient wisdom. It connects us all back to an innate wisdom that are ancestors have known and practiced and it always leaves students feeling empowered about ways to take control of their wellness by learning some basic tips about how to incorporate the wild plants around us into both food and medicine," Petter explained.

Petter, a Clinical Herbalist and Flower essence Practitioner in NYC, teaches classes about the art of plant based healing, making her classes not only educational but imaginative, accessible and encouragement to students to use herbal medicines in their daily lives. She incorporates her training from Arbor Vitae School of Traditional Herbalism with her natural creative flare.

She is also the creator of Petalune Herbals, a resource for hand crafted herbal skincare and luxury botanical products. In addition to regularly teaching classes at The New York Botanical Gardens, Brooklyn Grange, and the New York Open Center, Petter also offers in depth consults by appointment.

Foraging on the Farm participants will learn how to better utilize herbs in their daily lives as they touch, see, smell, and taste a variety of plants, and discover creative ways to use them in food and medicine.

"I will be guiding participants around the land for the first part of the class, to show them some of the in season, local weeds. We will learn about the traditional ways these native and invasive plants have been used by herbalists in some cases for thousands of years. Students will learn plant id and the actions and uses of the medicines we discuss," she said.

A demonstration of how to prepare medicinal plants - including how to make an herbal tincture, an herbal sun oil and a sun tea, plus many others - will take place. Participants will go home with their own herbal tincture and herbal oil made in class and recipe cards for continued experimentation.

"We are so lucky to be able to do this on the grounds of Sylvester Manor's beautiful farm," Petter added.

This event is part of the Sylvester Manor Farm Apprentice Education Workshop Series developed to complement the hands-on learning the young farmers receive in the field. It is open to the public and costs $65, which includes materials.

The event will take at The Farmstand from 3 to 5 p.m.

Sylvester Manor's Farmstand is located at 21 Manwaring Road in Shelter Island. For more information about the event and to reserve your spot, visit syvestermanor.org or call 631-749-0626.

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